Linking posttraumatic stress disorder with eating disorders among Emirati university female students: The role of self-concealment

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Man Cheung Chung
Zilan Ye
Na Wang
Justin Thomas

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Source of Publication

Current Psychology

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The link between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from past trauma, eating disorders, and psychiatric co-morbidity has been established. Whether self-concealment could influence these distress outcomes among traumatised Emirati university female students remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate whether the co-existing profiles of PTSD and self-concealment could impact eating disorder and psychiatric co-morbidity among female Emirati students. Using a convenience sampling method, the research was made known to students studying at a university in the United Arab Emirates. Four hundred and twenty-one female students completed questionnaires measuring PTSD, self-concealment, eating attitudes, and psychiatric co-morbidity in class. Latent profile analysis and multivariate analysis of variance were used respectively to identify the profiles for students and examine the differences between profile groups in distress outcomes. 38% met the criteria for PTSD. Using Latent Profile Analysis, profile 1 (moderate PTSD and self-concealment with high avoidance) had moderate PTSD symptoms with a high level of avoidance, and a moderate level of self-concealment. Profile 2 (moderate PTSD and self-concealment with low avoidance) had moderate PTSD symptoms with a low level of avoidance, and a similar level of self-concealment to profile 1. Profiles 3 (low PTSD group) and 4 (high PTSD group) had the lowest and highest levels of PTSD symptoms and self-concealment, respectively. Profile 4 showed significantly higher eating disorder symptoms compared to profile 3, and higher levels of psychiatric co-morbidity than the other three profiles. Having PTSD with a tendency to hide self-related secret could increase eating disorder symptoms along with other psychological difficulties.






Social and Behavioral Sciences


Co-morbidity, Eating disorders, Female, PTSD, Self-concealment

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Open Access